Recorded with Brett Humber at Sound Foundry Studios in Kingsville, drummer Justin Tessier and guitarist/vocalist Tarek Jafar are trying to send a message to radio stations. After the release of their first self-titled EP they mailed copies to every college radio station in the country, and did not exactly love the responses.
“We don’t really try to focus on genre specifics when we’re making music,” says Tessier, “we submitted [the first] CD to a lot of college stations, and we got a lot of response back saying that they didn’t necessarily want to have such poppy music.”
This was not a problem, apparently, for submission shows like NXNE and CMW, as these guys earned themselves slots in both festivals. Doing so may not have been everything they dreamed, though.
“If you are gonna play CMW or NXNE because you wanna start exploding in Toronto or on the Canadian music scene, I don’t think that’s the proper way to go about it,” said Tessier, “It’s a good, what Tarek and I like to call a resume show. It’s good to be able to tell people in the industry, like booking agents or record labels, if you’re into that sort of thing, that you’ve played these shows. And that means a lot to them because it’s a submission show. It’s like, we were good enough to get in.”
Tessier and Jafar will admit that there are merits to doing these sorts of shows, but they will put a caveat on that. To other bands hoping to play festivals like this, look at it as a networking opportunity, rather than the chance to make your career.
But even with the success of being chosen for submission shows, The Blue Stones were still looking to improve. The replies to their music from college stations had stuck with them.
“We understand that we’re not in any way an out-there radical band,” Tessier continued, “But we didn’t like the pop responses. Some stations that are playing some of our favourite bands weren’t playing us, and that was kind of bugging us.”
So back into the studio they went, this time to Sound Foundry out in Kingsville.
“It was an awesome process. Oh my god, it was so much fun going out there,” gushes Tessier, “It’s just so cool that he’s got this studio out in the county where you can just relax, you know. You do a couple takes and then you get a little worn out, you go outside, and it’s just beautiful. Summer in the county, and there’s birds everywhere, and just, you know, green as far as you can see.”
This was a huge difference from the back of an off-hours metal shop in Toronto, where the first album was recorded. The tracking environment can be considered a big influence on this new disc, one that could possibly help Jafar and Tessier get the response they are after.
“So this next album, it’s called How’s That Sound,” explains Tessier, “It’s almost a response to these stations that said ‘you guys are too poppy’. So we went and we made an edgier sound. We used a lot of analogue stuff, we didn’t do any digital processing with the guitars or anything, which we did on the first album, and now it’s going to be a response. We’re gonna send it back and say how’s that sound?”
Check out The Blue Stones when they release How’s That Sound along with Menos Mal and The Tyres on Saturday, Novemeber 3rd at FM Lounge (156 Chatham St. W, main level). The show begins at 10 pm, 19+ are welcome, and admission is $5 at the door.
Playlist for May 11, 2011;
Dylan Punek – Equinox (Dylan Punke – 2009)
Sick of Sarah – Simple Parts (2205 – 2011)
Hunter Valentine – Barbara Jean (Lessons From The Late Night – 2009)
The Cliks – We Are The Wolverines (Dirty King – 2009)
Threat Signal – Revision (Vigilance – 2009)
Goliath – By The Throat (Funweiser EP – 2011)
The Nefidovs – Beg Your Pardon Demo (Set Faced to Stun – 2011)
Shared Arms – Aunt Jemima/Another Sticky Situation (Unreleased Jams – 2009)
The Blue Stones – Vain Vixens (The Blue Stones – 2011)
Gypsy Chief Goliath – Elephant in the Room (The Windsor Zene Sampler – December 2010)
Devilz by Definition – A Gram Short 20 (The Windsor Zene Sampler – February 2011)
The Heat Seeking Moisture Missiles – Hidin’ in the Bushes (The Windsor Zene Sampler – December 2010)
Inoke Errati – Control (The Wink and The Gun – 2006)
Beijing Bike Club – The Past (The Windsor Zene Sampler – January 2011)
Thieves in Remand – Trace of Truth (Single – 2010)
Falling with Glory – Fight with Honour (The Windsor Zene Sampler – January 2011)
What Seas, What Shores – Pave the Oceans (Cordyceps EP – 2010)
Some great shows coming up this week. Like, really great ones. No excuses for being bored over the next few days, as you’ve always got somewhere you could go.
Thursday night at The Blind Dog (671 Ouellette Ave) will be heavy as a really heavy thing (pardon the SYL reference) as Hamilton’s Threat Signal bring to town their monstrous metal, joined by locals Goliath, Blackthorn City, Cyreene, A Dream in the Morning, and what could very well be the final show of Bloodshoteye. Lots of reasons not to miss this one, it starts at 5:30, is all ages, and is only $10 in advance of $12 at the door.
On Friday the 13th, forget superstitions and come to FM Lounge (156 Chatham St. W.) where The Nefidovs will be celebrating the release of their first full-length. Their crazy ska-ish-ness will be joined by skater punks The Rowley Estate, pop-punkers Shared Arms, and the bluesy rockings of The Blue Stones, who have recently released an EP themselves. This show is without cover, which is all the more incentive to go, and to purchase the album, ‘Set Faces to Stunned’ which will be available for purchase at the low-low price of $5!
Get more bang for your buck (I’m a used car salesman today, apparently) on Saturday where you can catch 14 bands for only $10 (if you buy presale from local acts) at The Blind Dog. This all ages Rock/Pop Fest is being put on by Gateway Productions, and features Inoke Errati, The Blue Stones, Beijing Bike Club, and The Tragedy of Mariam, among others. The show starts at 1 pm and lasts all day. A great deal and sure to be a great time.
Local garage rockers The Blue Stones released their debut video yesterday, shot by local film maker/video producer Gavin Michael Booth. Booth has been on a bit of a hot streak of late, with recent videos by The Afters, Inoke Errati and many others finding viral success on the internet. Well this latest one may have created the most amount of buzz to date. Because apart from the band themselves, the star of the video are two iPhone 4′s in what is believed to be the first video to use FaceTime technology (for those who don’t have iPhones or are unfamiliar, FaceTime is video conferencing/calling).
It’s already been picked up by many internet technology blogs like The Next Web, Jailbreak Movies, and The Unoffical Apple Weblog, as well as entertainment websites like The Rock 100.7 FM’s official site, OurWindsor.ca and EntertainmentWindsor.
Gavin Michael Booth also uploaded the latest webisode of his internet series “How Many Days?” – a project where he’s chronicling how many days in takes to meet his film making inspirations – that shows a behind the scenes look at how the video was built.
With the recent viral runaway hit “You, I’m From Windsor Dude” recently trending all over, this is sure to be the next Windsor internet hit. With the recent success of their EP release party, the Blue Stones could be on their way to being the next must-see act from the Rose City.
You can catch The Blue Stones playing live this Saturday at Phog Lounge (157 University Ave. West) as the local support for Toronto’s Decade of Sleep.
This Saturday, The Blind Dog (761 Ouellette Ave.), in co-operation with Jam Space, is presenting Southern Exposure, a showcase of some new bands on the local original circuit who have been slowly making waves with some great shows as of late.
Headlining the show is Windsor’s latest installment of the Detroit blues sound, although it has more in common with the most recent ’70′s soul inspired blues from The Black Keys or Black Crowes than the greasy guttural garage of the recently departed White Stripes. But they do have a colour-led name, so they’re at least adjoined to all in that respect. Windsor’s The Blue Stones have quietly amassing a devoted groundswell of fans with their inspired (if somewhat overdone) guitar-drum duo, wailing their own brand of the Devil lovin’ blues. Their shows haven’t been consistent sell outs by any means (yet), but they’re growing and the word of mouth is flittering the streets and bar rooms like lies in Parliament – people are talking and people are curious. With a sound that reeks of Windsor soul, The Blue Stones groove is part of a great new vibe coming out of Windsor that’s shared by other young bands like Alex Carruthers & The Rhythm Brothers and perhaps even first re-hinted at a few years back with the emergence of James O-L & The Villains (although James O-L went more a Neil Young meets Wilco route, while The Blue Stones are more a Lindsay Buckingham fronting “Miss You” era Rolling Stones). So far they’ve captivated and enthralled in the smaller rooms of Phog Lounge and FM Lounge – it’ll be interesting to see how they maintain their warmth in a bigger room. But challenges like that are what pushes good bands to be great.
Luna Borealis is a band that originally began in Peace River, Alberta as a husband and wife folk duo. Multi-instrumentalist Jason Testawich and vocalst/guitarist Natalie Westfall relocated to Windsor, where Jason soon joined Surdaster as the band’s keyboardist/mandolin player (amongst other things). And while he’s perhaps best known for his Surdaster work, he’s by no means given up on his other band. Adding Surdaster bandmate Louis Cooney on drums and Jam Space workmate Richard Rodgers on bass, the duo is now working as a four piece, expanding the sound to encompass more layers, turning the folk into some gorgeous psychedelic folk pop. While they may not be as well known as Testawich and Cooney’s other band, it shouldn’t take many more Luna Borealis shows before they – alongside bandmates Westfall and Rodgers – will be known as its own unique entity.
The Mud Lions are one of those rock and roll bands that seems to flirt with genres but never fully decide which one it wants to call home. And that’s not a bad thing. They dance between indie rock to straight up classic rock, combining an edginess somewhat reminiscent of bands like The Hives or Vines, with the pop sensibilities of early 54-40 or Northern Pikes, with even a hint of Dinosaur Jr. They’re another loud voice in a wave of local bands like The Hypnotics (whose name is somewhat uncomfortably too close to the minor hit BritPop band of the ’90s, Thee Hypnotics to me) or the Nefidovs who are simply throwing rock and roll caution to the wind and putting on sweaty and inspired rock and roll shows with a taste of everything.
Special guest Matt Dee is opening the show. I must admit, I’ve never heard of Matt Dee, so I don’t have much else to give you on him. Perhaps if one of our readers knows more they can write something in the comment section?
Southern Exposure Showcase featuring The Blue Stones, Luna Borealis and The Mud Lions, with special guest Matt Dee, The Blind Dog (761 Ouellette Ave.), Saturday February 12th, Doors at 8pm, Show starts at 9:30pm, $5 Cover, 19+